Procrastination you can use

I’m a worrier.  I worry about a lot of things. Things like: am I prepared for this, what if something goes wrong, will that work, will they like me, etc. And in response to my worrying, I tend to make plans.

For example, I worry about money, so I plan out a budget and do my best to stick to it. I worry about being bored on trips (especially on planes), so I pack plenty of things to do.  I remember going on vacation as a kid and having a whole bag full of things to do (and being small enough that it fit on the floor in front of me because my feet didn’t quite hit the floor).

In those examples, I’d argue that my worrying had a good result, I planned in order to avoid the situation I worried about.

However, what about those things that you can’t plan for? The worries of: what if something goes wrong or will they like me? What do you do then?

This is something I tend to circle back to, it just shows up a little differently as I grow. And there’s a quote from a movie I haven’t seen that applies:

“Fiddle-dee-dee!  I won’t worry about that today.  I’ll worry about that tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day!”
– Scarlett O’Hara

Procrastination you can use!  Imagine that.  So, next time you find yourself worrying about something ask yourself two questions: 1) Can I plan for it? 2) If not, can I worry about it tomorrow?  If so, repeat the questions tomorrow!

It sounds kind of silly, right?  Let’s take a look at two examples.

Will they like me?

  1. Can I plan for it? Well, no not really.
  2. If not, can I worry about it tomorrow? Absolutely.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 tomorrow!

What if something goes wrong?

  1. Can I plan for it? I’ve done all the planning I can do!
  2. If not, can I worry about it tomorrow? Yep.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 tomorrow.

The beauty of this is it gives you permission to stop worrying about it!  And a way to legitimately worry about it tomorrow (and in this case tomorrow never coming is a good thing!).

What do you do to stop worrying? Share in the comments below.

Things To Do, Low Motivation and 3 Questions

Ever had a day where you just wanted to sit in front of the TV or maybe curl up with a good book or take a nap? It’s not that you didn’t have things to do; it’s just that you didn’t feel motivated to do them.

These days happen to everyone. You can push through it, give in to it or take a look at why it’s happening.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re in this situation:

  1. Am I getting enough sleep?
    Many times low motivation is a result of too many late nights. Your body needs sleep to recharge. Try to get at least 7 hours, preferably more, of sleep tonight.
  2. What am I avoiding?
    Is there something that you’re avoiding? Another way to word this is: what am I afraid of happening if I complete this? Sometimes you have to dig a bit to figure out why you’re avoiding something.
  3. Do I have enough down time?
    If you’re always busy, whether business or family, you’ll wear yourself out. Your body and mind might decide that a day off is exactly what you need.

Go through and answer each question – especially if you’re not getting enough sleep. Why? Well, why aren’t you getting enough sleep? Answer the other two questions. Sometimes I find that I (or a client) am not getting enough sleep because I’m avoiding something or I’m taking some well-deserved downtime and missing out on the sleep.

For example, several years ago I had a job that I did not enjoy, at all. I regularly stayed up late and then got up early for work. I kept telling myself to go to bed earlier, but I didn’t. One night I realized I was staying up late because when you fall asleep, it feels like a few minutes later when you wake up. So, by staying up later, I was delaying going to work the next morning (ok, logically it might not make sense, but we don’t always do things logically).

So, I was staying up late to avoid work. Thankfully, that spurred some changes in my life at that time. Now, you might not be avoiding work. Instead you might be avoiding a particular task, a meeting or conversation or something else.

Once you know why your motivation is low, decide how you’re going to address it (what changes will it spur in your life). Meaning – if you’re not getting enough sleep, what can you do to make sure you get to bed earlier tonight? Basically, what’s your plan of action to avoid having this issue tomorrow?

But what do you do about today’s motivation low? Well, the plan of action might have given you some motivation, which is great! But it’s okay if that didn’t happen too. When your motivation is still low you have a couple of options left: push through it or take a break. Trust your intuition (or gut feeling) and decide what the best course of action is for you. It’s okay to decide to take a break. Sometimes that’s the most productive thing you can do.

What do you do when your motivation is low?

Why There Is No Article Today

This article is about how there’s no article for this week. Interesting paradox, isn’t it?

This is what happened: I sat down to write it, but couldn’t focus this brain of mine on any topic to write about. And I had lots of other stuff to do! So, I decided to do it later, I even made a mental note.

Later never came…

I only had a lot of Now’s

And my Now’s were filled with other commitments.


So, here it is, the day that I publish an article. Only I have no article to give you.

Would you like some excuses?

Yeah, I wouldn’t want them either. Reasons are plump, juicy and flavorful. Excuses can look like Reasons, but they taste kinda rotten.

So, I’ll give me the advice that I’d give any client (and if you’ve been following me a while, you might remember a certain YouTube video I shared on this topic). The advice is: just start. If you wait for an inspirational moment to strike you, you’re going to be waiting a while.

Too bad I didn’t remember that piece of advice earlier.

If I had, you might actually have a really nice article to read.

Ok, let me get a little more serious and review what happened here.

  • I wasn’t “inspired” so I decided to wait.
    Yeah, that rarely works out in my favor. What does work? Sitting down, getting quiet, and starting. For me, that works for almost anything that I want to write. 

    So, know what works for you. If you’re not sure – think about when things flowed, what was happening?

  • I made a mental note to do it later.
    You know what, sometimes you do need to get up, leave the task alone for a bit and come back to it. That’s okay. However, I didn’t put it back on my task list. 

    I’ve learned that I need to write things down to get them done. I didn’t do that. It did get done (you’re reading it), but it was done later than normal. So, write it down!

  • Something I realized didn’t happen
    I didn’t spend a lot of time beating myself up over this. I created the situation, thought about my options and moved forward. Let me tell you, that’s a small, but mighty victory! It wasn’t that long ago that I would have gotten really upset with myself and spent time feeling horrible. However, that doesn’t serve me or you.

What are you waiting for inspiration on? What are you putting off till later? They may or may not be the same thing.

What would happen if your Now was spent doing one of those things?

Woman sitting outside

Procrastination, Doing Nothing and To-Do Lists

Woman sitting outsideThe other week one of my mentors wrote about getting home from somewhere and deciding to sit and do nothing for a bit instead of jumping into some writing that she had planned to do that day.

I want to pause here, and ask: what are your thoughts or questions about the story so far? Where do you think the story is going?

I immediately started to wonder why she was procrastinating and why she was avoiding that writing.

Did your thoughts take you down that road too?

Well, I was surprised (and a little annoyed) when instead she wrote about deciding to take some time to just sit and do nothing. She enjoyed some quite time and allowed her thoughts to wonder a bit. And none of those thoughts where things like “I should be doing…” or “I have to remember to…”

It never even crossed her mind that she might be procrastinating. And she wasn’t procrastinating. She enjoyed a quiet moment at home, with no regrets, worries or should-be’s. The point of her story was that doing nothing for a little bit every once in a while is healthy for her and her business.

Did you assume the story was going to be about procrastination like I did?

Our beliefs around certain topics automatically show up in the questions we ask ourselves or how we anticipate the path a story will take.

I realized that I assume if I’m not working on crossing things off my to-do list during “work hours” then I must be procrastinating. Intellectually I know that this isn’t always the case. Not being productive doesn’t mean you’re procrastinating, but that is often how it’s viewed.

And I was annoyed because I felt that if I sat down and did nothing for an undetermined period of time it might turn into an hour. And then I’d really feel behind on the day’s list of to-dos.

When did my to-do list become a ball and chain of activities that must be done before a magical “end of the day?” Do you have that problem too?

So, what to do about it? Well, for one, you and I could both start taking some of my advice – stop making long daily to-do lists! Your daily list should have no more than seven things on it. Go on, take a look at your list and decide what seven things should really be one it. If this is really hard for you, take a few deep breaths and I know you can do it!

A funny thing happens when you shorten your to-do list; you procrastinate less! No, really, it’s true. You’ve just created a list that you feel you can actually accomplish! That’s a whole lot more motivating than a long list that can’t be completed in one day. With the long list, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal when an extra item or two isn’t completed. But with a short list, completing that last task or two feels attainable, and that’s more motivating!